Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The slam on Sunday turned into a round-table reading session, due to the lack of a large crowd, and the bar's disinclination to bother with setting up mikes without a crowd. So, we ended up reading around a cluster of tables, dragged together in an accidental but quite striking display of phallic imagery - long table, large round table at one end, smaller table at the other end. Yay, phallocentrism. Of course, another, looking at the same scene, might see it as a vaginal arrangement. But ideas will make fools of us, if we let them, let ourselves see the idea, in the place of the thing itself. In the end, it's three tables.

I ended up feeling pretty embarrassed about my poetry. I joke about being a bad poet, but it's hard to not get involved a bit. My sort of poem isn't very common at slam-type events. I'm rather excessively idea-oriented, and not at all sensual or physical. I don't really "do" romantic, sensual, or sexual poetry. In a lot of ways, I'm an agnostic monk - religion-obsessed, solitary, and detached from the material world.

The shock-startle-display ethos of the slam as practiced locally tends to favor displays of feminine physicality. At least, that's the impression I take from successful events. I think that this impression is reinforced by the competitive elements of the formal slam. Normally, one takes the competitive spirit as a masculine signifer, but that doesn't seem to be the case in the slam, from my limited experience.

Fred had a work-in-progress about Hooters, and sexism, and intellectual classism. I rather liked it. Wish I could link to it - hint, hint. A lady had a really good stream-of-consciousness piece about turning fifty. I'm so goddamn embarrassed that I've forgotten her name - I'll have to write it down the next time I run into her at one of these things.

I find that I best absorb idea poems - arguments. Relationship and sensual material just goes in one ear and out the other without stopping in the language-processing lobes on the way through.

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